COMMUNITY safety as the Christmas period fast approaches is the message being delivered through the Falls Community Council, in partnership with the PSNI. 

As part of its Communities in Transition Community Safety and Urban Regeneration Programme, the launch was to emphasis to the community the importance of being extra vigilant and to ensure they have a safe holiday period. 

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said the team are encouraging people to take “small steps, for example to be aware of what information they share on their social media”.

“We want people to enjoy Christmas but there are a small minority of opportunists thieves and scammers out there who will take advantage of innocent social media posts,” he said.

“Be careful when getting parcels delivered or when answering the door or phone to unsolicited callers. If you are unsure, call 101 to check if a caller is genuine or ring 999 in an emergency.”

Also, never leave any keys close to windows or doors, or in door locks and always keep sheds, outbuildings and vehicles locked. We wish everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas.”

PSNI Chief Inspector Gary Reid added: “As we head towards a very different festive season, we have increased our patrols and want to remind everyone of some crime prevention advice. 

“Most importantly, if you notice anything suspicious, or anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood, trust your instincts and contact police straightaway on the non-emergency number 101, or 999 in an emergency.

“Particularly during the longer hours of darkness, remember to close and lock windows and doors not only at night or when your home is unoccupied, but also when you are at home as it only takes seconds for an opportunistic criminal to strike.

"Also, never leave any keys close to windows or doors, or in door locks and always keep sheds, outbuildings and vehicles locked. We wish everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas.”